Monthly Archives: October 2007

Java on the desktop is already here!

I have been surprised when I read this article: James Gosling (Sun) : « Java sur le poste client n’est pas à la hauteur aujourd’hui ». It is in French, so I translate the title here:

James Gosling (Sun) : « Java is not ready today for the desktop »

Strange, isn’t it ? The “father of Java” who, 15 years after, makes such a big statement!Well, the reality is different, as we all know.
Eclipse is there and it is there since sometime now. Eclipse is no more only an “open development platform”, but has become ‘a platform for building and deploying rich client applications”: it is called Eclipse RCP. Many people are developing rich Java applications for the desktop (and for the mobile market also) based on Eclipse RCP:

And, not least, IBM is building the new generation of its products based on Eclipse RCP!

The Universal Managed Client for SOA, called Lotus Expeditor. A platform for building enterprise applications and enterprise mashups that bring the power of SOA towards the desktop and devices

The new Lotus Notes 8 client, which brings the possibility of building Composite Applications centered around the collaboration tools

Lotus Sametime, which provides a new frontier for Unified Collaboration and Communication

Sun may not be ready. But the world is not waiting in order to make Java evolving! And Java is bigger than a trade symbol.

The Ministry of Truth

Thanks to TonyBlog, and his article How difficult is to be the fastest growing internet company in the world, I discovered a long but very interesting video on Google’s dominance.
I share the video here also for the ones who want to see it from here.

I was hit by several things:

  1. the “Ministry of Truth” thing that happens at the end of the video
  2. the reference to the media monopoly situation that is happening in some parts of Europe (Italy, for instance) and that is scaring lot of people
  3. the fact that the VPs that are interviewed do not show concern about the power they have in their hands.
    They consider that power just from a technology point of view and they came out with statements that look like the following ones (I do not quote exact words…)

    • if we were able to do what we did, everybody can do also.
    • Why would we do something evil?
    • the possibility of beinbg evil is inside every job…

No, I think that we need to come to some action before it is too late. Internet Search is too important to be left in the hands of a private monopoly: Internet Search should be property of no one. The temptation would be too big.

Unavoidability….

Thanks to an IBM internal comment, I discovered the Did you know 2.0 video referenced by Luis in his Reminder of How Much Things Are Changing post.

I have one reaction: frightening. I am scared! I mean, of course the flow of things cannot be reversed, the earth spins from West to East regardless of my opinion (or of the collective opinion thereof…). But there is a difference between acknowledging that something is happening and not doing anything to oppose, right?
I mean, not everything that happens is “a good thing”, in my opinion. We have the right, as human beings, to oppose to things that may not go in the direction we like.

I list here few things I definitely do not like:

  • B.G. : Before Google ????
    Could not believe it!!! There was an era before Google and an era after….
    It is not that I could not believe it. This is a fact. No one can contradict this evidence. But, once spelled in that way, I think it also becomes relevant the question: “if Internet search is SO important and pervasive, could we really afford to leave it in the hands of a single private monopoly?”.
  • Today’s learners will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38.
    I am not the person who was born in IBM; I just joined 5 years ago (yeah, I am in one of the other statistics) and have been with other 3 companies before in 25 years of work.
    But 10-14 jobs by the age of 38 means that people may change jobs as frequently as each year or 18 months. Is this what companies expect in terms of loyalty from employees? Isn’t it true that people start being really productive once they know the context and the culture of the company they work for? Does this mean we will all have “contractor jobs“, jobs based on a single task to be executed?
  • Half of what a student in a 4-years course studies will be outdated starting when starting his 3rd year.
    Ehi. Culture is not only technology that gets outdated as new inventions happen.
    I think that children and adolescents have the right to study things that will not be directly part of their CV. It is the only moment in life in which they can learn things “just for thesake of learning”, “just to shape their minds and their hearts”, “just to discover what the history has sedimented in thousands of years”.
    We will always have the time to play with the last innovation… but we will not have so much time to read Shakespeare, to learn how to love poetry, to understand how humankind got here where we are.
    Sedimentation of understanding is an important principle that we need to keep in mind. Reading, remembering… and understanding (in order to have culture permeating our lives) are still different processes in our brain, I think (at least they are in mine).
  • Young people Urgently need new skills to succeed in the global economy“.
    Learning new skills is something that has been true always, I guess. The evolution of mankind just did not start yesterday…
    The accent here, though, is on the urgency. Like “we urgently need to eat”…. Urgently!
    Urgently….
    I commented on the pace of this urgency a couple of days ago…
    And the other accent is on the “global economy”. As a big a Godzilla from which we have to defend ourselves… Or as the climate changes that will subvert the needs pyramid and change the way in which we face day-to-day life.
    Looks really like a science-fiction movie, where it seems we are starting to fear about what we are producing but we are already unable to control it.

I cannot consider that all this is unavoidable. I cannot think that we do not have a mean to adapt the pace to our biological rhythm, to the way in which our minds have been shaped and our heart loves.

Proud of being European

Airbus A380Yesterday the big day arrived. The Airbus A380 first shipment happened.

I cannot say if this will change the way in which civil aviation will be in the future.

But, certainly, it is the achievement of an exceptional technical challenge that the European industry took. Successful or not, it is certainly remarkable and important.

I am proud to be European today. Sometimes we are not simply followers but we keep our spirit and soul for invention and over-achievement.

Mashups, web2.0 and the SOA cake

I read a commentary around the recent Gartner 10 Strategic technologies to watch in 2008.
In this commentary, Evan Data Corp. Joe McKendrick and Software AG Miko Matsumura say, very high, that even in SOA is not explicitely spelled in the recent Gartner’s report, SOA itself is the basis for what we are building today and in the future. There are some interesting quotes from the commentary that I wanted to highlight here, as they have really a lot to do with what we do everyday.

  • The consumption patterns of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are made possible by SOA in this view.
    “The architecture has no value until it’s expressed in consumptions patterns. …The underlying service is just a generic-kind of service, but it comes to life when you put an Ajax interface in front or some kind of cool mashup in front of it. Once you’ve got a platform of business services, you can make mashups or Web 2.0 or a ton of really cool things.
  • “Turning to another goodies metaphor, …SOA is invisible in the same way the recipe for a cake is invisible. Even the most proud baker wouldn’t stop people from eating his cake while he read them the recipe. The consumers of cake or Web 2.0 applications want to enjoy them not hear a dissertation on how they were made, he said.
  • The status of SOA today is similar to where e-commerce was in the late 1990s. At that time everybody was building e-commerce applications using e-commerce tools. “Now, we’re doing the same thing with SOA. We’re saying this is an SOA project or this is an SOA tool. Today, you still use content management and application servers and Java as a language and Web interfaces, but you no longer call it e-commerce because now it’s just apps. It’s just how we do it. We don’t really think of it as e-commerce any more, it’s just the typical pattern for applications these days. I think exactly the same thing will happen with SOA.”
  • “When you say SOA no longer matters, it’s everything that SOA enables that matters, I totally think that’s right because SOA is a way to achieve certain things from an architecture and an alignment and agility point of view,”

I like all these quotes, because they really make the point!

Going back to what Gartner asserts, I obviously like the presence of the following 3 items in the top-ten list:

  1. Business Process Modelling
  2. Mashups and Composite Applications
  3. Web Platform and WOA

My readers know how much I consider “Business Process Modelling”, at the point that I did not hesitate to say that it is the glorification of any SOA, the way in which Services could become useful from a Business Point of view. I am not sure, though, that BPM will emerge (finally!!!). Not because it should not deserver a shining place, but because of the power implications it brings into a company’s organization (who owns the process owns the power….).

In this context, though, the emergence of the Mashups and Composite Applications, may slightly change the picture. “They allow you to rapidly tailor the functionality you want in one place, without having to re-create the original”  is the quote from Gartner. I still think what I wrote last year in “Composite Applications, Mashups and Portals: relay race or team spirit?” . Through Mashups and Composite Applications, the user will become an actor in the SOA. SOA will not stop anymore at the beginning of the HTTP pipe on the server…. it will continue, it will encompass the desktop.

The user will be allowed to integrate what the “portal” gives him with tools and content coming from elsewhere. The “portal” will provide the official company process and the mashup will provide the creativity, the differentiator by which a user would tailor the standard process and add his own touch !

BEA wants more money. And Sun ?

Few years ago, when I left Sun, I thought that the medium term scenario would involve some “fusion” between Oracle (Applications + database), BEA (middleware) and Sun (hardware).
In this way, the new entity would be able to compete against IBM and against MSFT (well MSFT+Dell or MSFT+HP, according to the situations).

I am reading these days that BEA just refused a friendly buyout offer from Oracle because the proposed price was seen as undervaluating BEA (I have issues understanding which evidence would support this statement… but this is not the point)! So, BEA is asking Oracle to make a better economical offer.  There is not opposition to Oracle’s initiative.

And this seems logical to me.
The scenario is simplifying.

So,  would next step really be Sun ?

Is MSFT Biometric system so easy to bypass?

I happened to read the article Le système biométrique de Microsoft piraté avec de la pâte à fixe ?. It is in French, so I provide here a quick Babelfish translation of the orginal content (I changed few little words from the automatic translation):

Exclusive: French students succeed in circumventing the biometric system of Microsoft, the FingerPrint readers… with adhesive paste!
Two students found a very original means of circumventing the security system of FingerPrint readers of Microsoft. With this intention, they employed candle’s wax and adhesive paste of a very known mark. “With the means of we had we managed to circumvent a system which probably cost million dollars of development”. Most worrying is the easiness to bypass this biometric control. They moulded a print in candle’s wax, used adhesive paste to get the positive and the game is there as a video posted on DailyMotion shows. “Our next idea is the recovery of fingerprints on glass and the exploitation of those”.

Of course, breaking security is illegal. I do not want here to spread some illegal information.
Also, having weak, breakable security systems is not a privilege of Microsoft only….

But, it is fun anyway! I mean, you invest a lot of money in securing something that your children could compromise so easily….

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